Pathways Honors Guest Blog: Sedra

Sedra, a Pathways Honors student, stands in front of a fountain with greenery growing around it.

Pathways Honors is a unique program to DePaul for driven, passionate students pursuing a health career. Between the Fall and Winter quarter, we invited several students from the program to share their experience with this special opportunity. Without further ado, Sedra!



This is my first year as a DePaul student in the Pathways Honors program, and I had the opportunity to enroll in the Healthcare in Chicago class. This class helped me learn more about the program itself and all that healthcare has to offer. Before starting college, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in medicine but I wasn’t sure if I was passionate enough to stick with it. This class strengthened my confidence and passion to stay on the pre-medicine track with the amount of medical experience and knowledge we were exposed to. 



An image of the Chicago River, flanked on either side by skyscrapers that make up the Chicago Skyline. A boat floats on the river toward the photographer.


My favorite activity in this Pathways course was when Dr. Philip Funk (Associate Professor, Immunology and Biology) brought in two podiatrists to speak. We saw all the different types of outstanding surgeries they did. One in particular was with an opera singer from Chicago who had cancer in his foot and was told that he wouldn’t be able to walk again. Yet through an extensive surgery shown to us, they were able to return his ability to walk again, beating his initial odds. This made my passion grow, as many times in life we have different events that we can’t control, yet through medicine we are able to see these odds and work to fight them to get the best outcome possible.



I have always been interested in going into surgery. When the podiatrists came in we were able to do different activities such as using a portable ultrasound machine to find a pulse on our fellow classmates. We then got to learn how to suture and to learn more about the hand to hand application that medicine requires. I honestly loved it to the point that I bought myself my own suture kit after; it makes me feel like I’m living an episode of Grey’s Anatomy!

An image of a suture practice kit, the kind that might be used in a medical sciences class.
A framed illustration of two surgeons, just on the other side of the operating, shaking hands. Text at the bottom reads "Johnson & Johnson: the most trusted name in surgical dressings."


Other than hands-on experience, we also discussed the changes in medicine and problems that people face in America and across the world. We talked about the origins of medicine from the black death to COVID-19 and chronic illness. I got to learn about so many things that can impact medical care, like the environment, racial backgrounds, and economic differences. One of my favorite opportunities was when we visited the Museum of Surgical Sciences and learned about the origins of healthcare practices. We learned how mortality rates dropped from 43% to 15% when surgeries were performed in sterile environments. Visits like these made me appreciate why we follow different practices in medicine and the importance of raising awareness when the public’s health needs aren’t being met. 



This class gave me a sense of belonging and community at DePaul which reassured me that I wasn’t alone during this transition of starting college and pursuing a high demanding major. It reinforced the reason why I chose medicine: to transform and enhance people’s lives, especially in the face of seemingly unalterable circumstances. If you ask me, that is very important to remember when struggling through Biology and Chemistry midterms. I look forward to continuing my pre-medical track with renewed enthusiasm and a deeper understanding of the impact of healthcare. 


Learn More about Pathways Honors!